Buddha in meditation with lotus flower and burning candles

This week I want to focus on Buddhism!

If you’ve never been exposed to any Buddhist teachings I’ll let you know some of my favorite aspects.

  • First, Buddhism is a way of life. A philosophy much more than what we think of in the west as a religion. This makes it much more practical and able to give you results and real answers. Buddhism will directly make your life better just by giving some attention to it’s teachings.
  • Second, there is very little distinction between your inner and outer world. Your inner world directly affects your outer world. Perception is everything and consciousness is God. Once you get these two things you will realize that you matter, and you have more control over your life than you thought. the key thing is that you have to let go of being a victim in every way. You are not a victim, you are learning. Instead of getting down if something goes “wrong” ask yourself, “what am I learning?” The two core beliefs, “Perception is everything and consciousness is God,” will set you free if you let them.
  • The main teaching of Buddhism is that attachment/desire = suffering. I’m not talking about a simple desire. I’m talking about when we latch on to some idea and it is bringing us to a place where there is nothing but deep and aching longing. The place of desperate grasping and hasty measures. You know how that feels, and that is not the path you are meant to be on – ever. If something feels like that – let it go. You cannot force things, and believe me you don’t want to. There is a flow to life and Buddhism is about tapping into that flow – not struggling against it.
  • Finally the last thing I will touch on here is mindfulness. Mindfulness is when we realize that we are the observer. We are not our thoughts. We are not even our emotions. These are things the body does (and needs) and as spiritual beings inhabiting the body we are the one experiencing and controlling the mind and emotions. It may not feel like that now, but as you practice mindfulness meditation you will see that it is true. It is true for everyone. Mindfulness meditation is when you sit quietly, focus on your breath, and then pull back your awareness as the observer. You watch your thoughts float in and out without attachment or judgement. You observer your emotions and all the ups and downs without attachment or judgement. The less attached or judging you can be the better. You may get wrapped up in your thoughts, but then just bring your focus back to being the observer (gently and without a big guilt trip for yourself.) This is where we can commune with God – because consciousness is God and perception is everything, and when you are in mindfulness meditation you are exactly in your right mind. The truth and the reality of how things really are resides in that space, inside YOU!

So for today I would like to focus on the third bullet point above. Attachment and desire = suffering. The word suffering is used a lot because there is inescapable pain in this world, but you do not need to suffer. Suffering is a deeper pain of defeat and desolation. And I already clarified the meaning of desire in this case.

In your journal I want you to write down anything you are desperately and gropingly desiring. Maybe it’s something to do with your health or the health of a loved one. Maybe it is more money, or stability. Whatever it is – it will be very real and probably cause emotions to rise up when you think of it. Write down how it makes you feel and what it is and really vent about it. Feel all of those emotions to the fullest. (Buddhism may be about detachment but it is not about not feeling emotions.)

Next I want you to focus on one of the desires. Write down why your think you can’t have it. Write down why you think you need it. And then below that write this:

“Can I let this desire go?” and I want you to notice that because it is a desire, a thought really, inside you – you do have the control to let it go. Sit with that for a moment and then write this:

“When?” (This is a method I gleaned from the Sedona Method for letting go of emotional pain. This isn’t the full program by any means, just one small section of one exercise. I just want to let you know that is where I got this method.)

And of course, because this thought and emotion and desire resides inside of you – if you wanted to – you could choose to let it go right now.

And if you can, you should. Believe me when I say that grasping this way does no good. You are causing yourself suffering and are in a place spiritually where your creative juices and communication with God are crippled. Let it go and see what other answers there are for you. You have *nothing* to lose, and everything (including the object of your desire if it is meant to be.)

This can be a powerful exercise if you are willing to be brave.

I wish you all the peace as you bravely complete this exercise today.

Sara

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